MONDO EXTRAS

Mormon-mania

by Kim February 13, 2001
Inside the Osmonds

Let's keep in mind that this movie is not really going to go inside the Osmonds. I mean, it's not Innerspace or anything, and thank God for that. But I also mean that it's an authorized movie by the family, and they're apparently going to appear at the end, so you know there won't be much dirt. There will, however, be a lot of singing, a lot of dancing, and a lot of Mormon love. I have a theory that since the Osmonds are such Mormon icons, they inserted special secret Mormon messages into the movie. They didn't want to be overt about it, because they know that would turn a lot of people off -- for whatever reason, a lot of Americans still see the Mormons as a polygamous cult (and hold onto the hate mail -- I know that's not true with today's church, really. I'm just saying that many people still have that misconception.) I'll try to point out those secret messages as we go along, but not being a Mormon myself, I'll probably miss some.

After an opening disclaimer, we see historical footage of Andy Williams introducing the young Osmond brothers. Say what you will about them, they sing barbershop music very well. The squeaky clean footage of the young men singing "Side by Side" in perfect four-part harmony is intercut with footage of the times -- college protests, the Vietnam war, and other tragic stuff. I'm not sure if the intended effect is to say that the Osmonds were an oasis of family entertainment in the morally depraved late-Sixties, or that the Osmonds were hopelessly out of touch. I'm guessing they meant the former, but it really comes off as the latter.

The on-screen text informs us that it is now "Los Angeles, 1970." A band of teen boys are rocking out -- one of them even has that thing Peter Frampton used in "Show Me The Way"! And they are rocking in a funky way. It's actually not that bad. Two old guys are listening to them and smiling. I have to confess at this point that the only male Osmond I can easily identify is Donny. They finish their song and one of the listening guys says, "Where are you hiding the Osmond Brothers?"

Upstairs at the dinner table, the band of young guys (who we now know are the Osmond Brothers) try to convince the guy who made the comment earlier (who is wearing a melon-colored leisure suit and an ascot) that the Osmond Brothers are ready to rock. Melon Suit asks Pa Osmond if he's "on board with this," and Pa says that they think it's time to leave the Andy Williams show. Ma Osmond (portrayed by Veronica Cartwright in a terrible black wig) says that she knows the kids will be successful no matter what they do, because they're so talented. Little Jimmy pipes up that he has a hit single in Japan. Shut up, Little Jimmy. Little Marie says pretty much that. Merrill Osmond (who looks a lot like Mickey Dolenz) says that they just want to rock. One of the Deaf Brothers (sorry, but there are two and I don't know which is which) signs that kids want something different. This is one of my pet peeves already -- the show tries to be so PC by having the Deaf Brothers sign everything, and yet no one else in the family signs ever. Yet the Deaf Brothers fully understand everything their family members say, even when their backs are turned. Whatever. Melon Suit is convinced by the Deaf Brother, and says he'll "wrangle a booking." The kids run off to practice, but Pa reminds them first that it "has to be perfect." Oh, Pa Osmond is a real barrel of fun.

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Mormon-mania

by Kim February 13, 2001
Inside the Osmonds Let's keep in mind that this movie is not really going to go inside the Osmonds. I mean, it's not Innerspace or anything, and thank God for that. But I also mean that it's an authorized movie by the family, and they're apparently going to appear at the end, so you know there won't be much dirt. There will, however, be a lot of singing, a lot of dancing, and a lot of Mormon love. I have a theory that since the Osmonds are such Mormon icons, they inserted special secret Mormon messages into the movie. They didn't want to be overt about it, because they know that would turn a lot of people off -- for whatever reason, a lot of Americans still see the Mormons as a polygamous cult (and hold onto the hate mail -- I know that's not true with today's church, really. I'm just saying that many people still have that misconception.) I'll try to point out those secret messages as we go along, but not being a Mormon myself, I'll probably miss some. After an opening disclaimer, we see historical footage of Andy Williams introducing the young Osmond brothers. Say what you will about them, they sing barbershop music very well. The squeaky clean footage of the young men singing "Side by Side" in perfect four-part harmony is intercut with footage of the times -- college protests, the Vietnam war, and other tragic stuff. I'm not sure if the intended effect is to say that the Osmonds were an oasis of family entertainment in the morally depraved late-Sixties, or that the Osmonds were hopelessly out of touch. I'm guessing they meant the former, but it really comes off as the latter. The on-screen text informs us that it is now "Los Angeles, 1970." A band of teen boys are rocking out -- one of them even has that thing Peter Frampton used in "Show Me The Way"! And they are rocking in a funky way. It's actually not that bad. Two old guys are listening to them and smiling. I have to confess at this point that the only male Osmond I can easily identify is Donny. They finish their song and one of the listening guys says, "Where are you hiding the Osmond Brothers?" Upstairs at the dinner table, the band of young guys (who we now know are the Osmond Brothers) try to convince the guy who made the comment earlier (who is wearing a melon-colored leisure suit and an ascot) that the Osmond Brothers are ready to rock. Melon Suit asks Pa Osmond if he's "on board with this," and Pa says that they think it's time to leave the Andy Williams show. Ma Osmond (portrayed by Veronica Cartwright in a terrible black wig) says that she knows the kids will be successful no matter what they do, because they're so talented. Little Jimmy pipes up that he has a hit single in Japan. Shut up, Little Jimmy. Little Marie says pretty much that. Merrill Osmond (who looks a lot like Mickey Dolenz) says that they just want to rock. One of the Deaf Brothers (sorry, but there are two and I don't know which is which) signs that kids want something different. This is one of my pet peeves already -- the show tries to be so PC by having the Deaf Brothers sign everything, and yet no one else in the family signs ever. Yet the Deaf Brothers fully understand everything their family members say, even when their backs are turned. Whatever. Melon Suit is convinced by the Deaf Brother, and says he'll "wrangle a booking." The kids run off to practice, but Pa reminds them first that it "has to be perfect." Oh, Pa Osmond is a real barrel of fun.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12Next

Comments

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